Streamlined for growth and efficiency
H1 2020 trading in Benchmark’s Genetics division was resilient in face of challenges posed by the pandemic, while in Advanced Nutrition recent difficulties were compounded by the shrimp sector’s exposure to the food service industry. The ongoing restructuring and cost containment program, targeting £10m+ of annual savings, are being enacted under the guidance of a newly appointed aquaculture specialist as CEO. Factoring in disposals and efficiencies, our new forecasts indicate liquidity remains well within its NOK bond-lending covenant terms. A key near term focus includes preparation for launch of BMK’s innovative sea lice treatment of CleanTreat® + BMK08, providing game-changing revenue prospects.
03 Jun 20
Underpinned by cash and essential products
In today’s trading update, BMK has highlighted that it is well supported by strong financial liquidity and a resilient Genetics division. BMK also benefits from holding sufficient stocks of Animal Health products to support trading. However, the Advanced Nutrition division is likely to face a material impact on demand caused by lower global demand for shrimp arising from the Covid-19 crisis. BMK’s leading role in essential sustainable food production provides support for its long-term growth prospects.
02 Apr 20
Focusing on core areas and liquidity
While Benchmark generated good FY19 performance in its Genetics and Animal Health divisions, previously flagged challenging conditions in Advanced Nutrition contributed to the acceleration of a restructuring process. This includes a vigorous review of non-core assets with a view to their disposal or closure, helping ensure the Group’s ongoing financial liquidity. Factoring in disposals and efficiencies, our new forecasts indicate liquidity within its NOK bond-lending covenant terms, supporting our 2020-22 sales CAGR estimate of 12%. Sales will be driven by launches of BMK’s innovative sea lice treatment BMK08, shrimp genetics products and sustained underlying performance.
17 Jan 20
Small Cap Feast
African Export-Import Bank a supranational financial institution whose purpose is to facilitate, promote and expand intra- and extra- African trade, of its potential intention to publish a registration document, the Bank hereby confirms its intention to proceed with an Initial Public Offering. The GDRs are expected to be admitted to the standard listing segment of the Official List of the FCA and to trading on the Main Market of the LSE. DNEG Limited intends to apply for admission of its Shares to the premium listing segment of the Official List of the FCA and to trading on the London Stock Exchange's main market for listed securities. The Offer will be comprised of new Shares to be issued by the Company (to raise expected gross proceeds of £150m). Admission is expected to take place in November 2019.
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28 Oct 19
Benchmark Holdings, the specialist in aquaculture nutrition genetics and health, has provided a Q3 trading update. As previously flagged, weak markets in shrimp, sea bass, and bream continue to impact demand and pricing for the group’s live feed products. Added to this, the oversupply of lower priced Artemia sourced from Russia meant that a higher proportion of revenue came from lower margin live feed.
13 Aug 19
Small Cap Feast
ReAssure Group plc - The Group is a leading closed book life insurance consolidator in the United Kingdom with 4.3m policies, £68.7 billion of assets under administration on a Post-L&G Illustrative Basis. It is considering a premium listing segment of the main market. Reinsurance giant Swiss Re has suspended plans for a £3.3bn London stock market flotation of its subsidiary ReAssure, blaming "heightened caution" among investors. Voyager AIR The Company will focus on the acquisition, leasing and management of primarily widebody aircraft, with asset management services to be provided by Amedeo Limited the IPO will comprise a Placing and Offer for Subscription of Shares to raise up to approximately US$200m. Uniphar, a diversified healthcare services business with a workforce of over 2,000, is looking to join AIM. Raise TBC, expected mid-July 2019.
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11 Jul 19
BMK reports good H1’19 performance: Group revenues increased 3.4% overall to £78.3m from £75.7m, and adjusted EBITDA growing ahead of sales, up 25% from £6m in H1’18 to £7.5m driven by margin expansion in Animal Health, Genetics and Knowledge Services. Field trials of the next generation sea lice treatment progressed, with delivery on key milestones with the specific pathogen resistant (SPR) shrimp. Sales in these divisions helped to offset weaker than expected trading in Advanced Nutrition, caused by oversupply and price weakness in the shrimp and sea bass markets.
03 Jul 19
Seeking a Nordic capital injection
BMK reports good H119 performance: Group revenues increased 3.4% overall to £78.3m from £75.7m and with adjusted EBITDA growing ahead of sales, up 25% from £6m in H118 to £7.5m. Animal Health, Genetics and Knowledge Services’ performance was robust, driven by progress with the field trials of the next generation sea lice treatment as well as delivery on key milestones with the specific pathogen resistant (SPR) shrimp. Sales in these divisions helped to offset weaker than expected trading in Advanced Nutrition caused by oversupply and price weakness in the shrimp and sea bass markets.
05 Jun 19
Strategy for key Chilean market
Benchmark Holdings BMK has provided an update on its Chile salmon breeding and genetics strategy under its JV with Empresas AquaChile. The Company has the opportunity to take control of a salmon egg breeding facility owned by the JV, providing an opportunity to shape the strategy of its operations in this key geography. The underlying drivers and rationale for the strategy remain constant and particularly in view of renewed algal bloom disease challenges; meeting high demand for disease-resistant salmon produced under the most stringent biosecure conditions.
30 May 19
Re-energised and set to deliver
Benchmark Holdings is now leveraging its unique aquaculture platform that spans Advanced Nutrition, Genetics and Health. That means targeting greater penetration in existing markets, further diversification and advancing its product pipeline. Our forecast of a FY18-21 revenue CAGR of 12% and adjusted EBITDA of 37% is driven by organic growth across each division.
05 Feb 19
Sustainability and profitability
Benchmark reported a confident message on FY18 trading to the end of September 2018 across all divisions, taking adjusted EBITDA earnings for the period ahead of our estimates due to the higher margin mix of revenues from Advanced Nutrition. Headline financials for the period included c. 7% revenue growth vs FY17 to over £150m and adjusted EBITDA of over £16.5m, up 65% compared to FY17. The outlook is positive across the Group and with strategic progress on key projects positioning BMK for sustained earnings growth driven by increasing recognition of the value of specialist aquaculture products.
09 Nov 18
Small Cap Feast
Greenfields Petroleum (TSX-V:GNF) production focused company with operated assets in Azerbaijan seeking AIM dual listing including $60m private placement. Mkt cap $12.6m CAD Wentworth Resources— oil and gas exploration and production company, with assets in the onshore Rovuma Basin of East Africa. Introduction only. Mkt Cap c £50m . Due today Finncap—proposed acquisition of M&A adviser Cavendish Corporate Finance and AIM admission. Offer TBA Kropz PLC—an emerging plant nutrient producer with an advanced stage phosphate mining project in South Africa, a phosphate project in the Republic of Congo and exploration assets in Ghana. Looking to join AIM, offer TBC, market cap TBC. Due Late October. Crossword Cybersecurity PLC* (NEX:CCS)—the technology commercialisation company focusing exclusively on the cyber security sector is exploring its options in relation to a potential move to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange which, if it were to proceed, would likely take place over the next few months. The Panoply parent company of a digitally native technology services group founded in 2016 with the aim of identifying and acquiring best-of-breed specialist information technology and innovation consulting businesses across Europe, is looking to join AIM. Offer TBC, expected late November 2018.
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07 Nov 18
Delivering on strategic and financial targets
BMK delivered a 9% reported increase in sales in H1’18 despite FX headwinds (up 17% at constant exchange rates) to £75.7m, together with a 91% increase in adjusted EBITDA. This was driven by strong performance in Genetics and Advanced Nutrition and a higher margin product mix in these divisions. The results were accompanied by a confident message that the growth strategy is delivering, with FY18 forecasts on track.
26 Jun 18
Strategic investment in key Chilean market
Benchmark Holdings (BMK) has entered into an aquaculture breeding and genetics Joint Venture with Empresas AquaChile SA (AquaChile), the world’s sixth largest salmon producer. This is a strategic move that cements BMK’s presence in Chile, the second largest global producer of Atlantic salmon after Norway. In 2017 AquaChile was the largest contributor to a Chilean harvest which reached over 580,000 tons, showing year-on-year growth of 15%.
12 Jun 18
Small Cap Breakfast
Anexo -specialist integrated credit hire and legal services group. Offer TBA. Due 19 June. i-nexus—develops and provides strategy execution software to assist global enterprises in effective execution of their strategic plans and initiatives looking to jon AIM. Offer TBC, expected 19 June Yellow Cake will use its expertise to generate value through the ownership of physical U3O8 (Uranium) together with a range of activities and opportunities connected with owning physical U3O8. Acquiring supply contract for up to $170m. Offer TBA. Tekmar— technology provider of protection systems for subsea cable, umbilical and flexible pipes and offshore engineering services—Offshore wind farms and Oil & Gas. Revenue of £21.9m and Adjusted EBITDA of £4.9m Offer TBA Knights Group— UK regional legal and professional services businesses. FYApr18 rev £34.9 million and adjusted operating profit was £6.8 million excluding Turner Parkinson (acquiring on IPO). Offer TBA Aquis Exchange—a founder-led, pan-European Multilateral Trading Facility and exchange and regulatory technology developer and service provider is looking to join AIM. Offer TBC, expected 20 June. TransGlobe Energy Corporation—an independent international upstream oil and gas company with headquarters in Calgary, Canada is looking to join AIM. No Capital to be raised, market cap of £131m. Expected 29 June Block Energy— UK based oil exploration and production company whose main country of operation is the Republic of Georgia. Raising £5m at 4p. Mkt cap £10.3m. Due 11 June. Strongbow Exploration (TSX:SBW) intends to dual list on AIM. Holds rights to the South Crofty underground tin mine, a former producing tin mine located in the towns of Pool and Camborne, Cornwall . The project is estimated to require the Company to raise £25 million over the next 18 months to progress to a production decision. Offer TBS. Due June.
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08 Jun 18
CMD showcases expertise and strategy
Benchmark Holdings held a well-attended Capital Markets Day (CMD) on 27 March, which highlighted its strategic targets for fulfilling its growth potential spanning Advanced Nutrition, Genetics and Animal Health. Strong underlying dynamics include the ongoing recovery of supply in salmon markets following disease challenges, with higher pricing trends supported by strong demand and with signs of shrimp production entering a new growth phase. We have consistently said that BMK holds a unique position within aquaculture markets and that its strategic aims are set to translate into upward momentum in revenue and margin. We reiterate our forecasts of 13% revenue CAGR from FY17-20 with drivers across each Division leading to uplift in adjusted EBITDA from £10m in FY17 to £24.6m in FY20.
03 Apr 18
Strong platform built to deliver growth
Benchmark Holdings (BMK) strengthened and leveraged its diversified aquaculture platform in FY17. It also delivered 13% like for like revenue growth to £140m (adding back revenues for businesses acquired in FY16). The headline measure of adjusted EBITDA was flat at £10m year on year, with margins of 21% and 19% in Advanced Animal Nutrition (AAN) and Benchmark Genetics (BG) respectively, offset by headwinds in Animal Health (AH).
31 Jan 18
Small Cap Breakfast
Panthera Resources— The Company was established to act as a holding company for Indo Gold Limited, an unlisted Australian registered company. The Company aims to explore and develop gold assets in India and West Africa. Offer TBC, expected 20 Dec 2017 Sumo Group—one of the UK's largest independent developers of AAA-rated video games providing both turnkey and codevelopment solutions, including initial concept and pre-production . Offer TBC. Due late Dec Pelatro—provider of proprietary software solutions to enterprise-level customers for various aspects of precision marketing for use in B2C applications. Offer TBC, expected 19 December 2017 Fusion Antibodies—Belfast based contract research organisation providing services to biopharmaceutical and diagnostics companies that are involved in the development of antibodies for both therapeutic drug and diagnostic applications. Offer TBA. Due Mid Dec. Sirius Petroleum—RTO. Becoming an operating company in the Ororo Field in Nigeria. Raising £7.2m/ Mkt Cap £35.6m. Due 19 Dec. Bushveld Minerals—RTO of Bushveld Vametco and therefore 78.8% of Strategic Minerals Corporation, the intermediate holding company that owns a 75 per cent. interest in the Vametco Vanadium Mine. Range Resources— oil and gas company listed on the ASX plans to admit to AIM on 13 Dec with market cap of £17.4m. Also acquiring Range Resources Drilling Services Limited, an oil services business based in Trinidad & Tobago with extensive drilling capabilities. Eqtec—Company with access to a proprietary advanced gasification technology used in industrial size power plants to convert waste into synthetic gas to generate electricity. Raising £1.6m. Mkt Cap £8.7m. Due 21 Dec. Volex VLX.L—The global provider of cable assemblies is proposing to move from the main market to AIM on 19 January. £71m market cap. FYMar18E rev £241.5m and £7.19m PBT Miriad Advertising—Global video advertising company incorporated in 2015 and is engaged in the development of native invideo advertising. 2016 rev £0.7m and £7.3m operating loss. Offer TBA. Expected 19 Dec. OnTheMarket—Intention to float on AIM to raise c.£50m which will be used to fund the growth of the OnTheMarket.com portal, already the third biggest UK residential property portal provider. Expected valuation £200m to £250m.
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07 Dec 17
Small Cap Brunch
Totally (TLY) - Sch 1 for £11m RTO of Vocare, a provider of integrated urgent care services to the NHS throughout the UK. £76.8 million rev in the year ended 31 March 2017. Totally to address Care Quality Commission concerns. Due 24 Oct. Central Asia Metals (CAML) -RTO of Lynx Resources. Anticipated market capitalisation at Admission: £404.8m. Raising £113m at 230p. Acquiring the SASA zinc-lead mine in Macedonia from Solway Industries. Due 15 Dec. OnTheMarket—Intention to float on AIM to raise c.£50m which will be used to fund the growth of the OnTheMarket.com portal, already the third biggest UK residential property portal provider. Expected valuation £200m to £250m. Orogen plc, to be renamed Sosandar plc on Admission. Sosander is an online womenswear brand specifically targeted at a generation of women who have graduated from younger online and high street brands, and are looking for affordable clothing with a premium, trend-led aesthetic. Offer to raise £5.3m with market cap of £16.1m, expected 2 November 2017 OG Graphite, brownfield development-stage graphite company focused on the reactivation of its wholly-owned Kearney natural flake graphite mine and mill located 280 km north of Toronto, Canada. Offer TBA, expected late October .
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17 Oct 17
A novel approach to the sea lice threat
BMK reports that it saw improving market conditions and good performance across Breeding and Genetics (BG) and Advanced Animal Nutrition (AAN) divisions during H217. However, largely because of logistical circumstances, there has been a delay in installation of equipment for trials of its mechanical CleanTreat purification system, used to help treat salmon against the highly prevalent sea lice threat.
13 Sep 17
Sustainable solutions plus greater visibility
The introduction by BMK of CleanTreat, an innovative and environmentally sustainable system to purify water used in prevailing sea lice chemical bath treatment, expands the suite of products available to salmon farmers to combat a major threat to the industry. That good news was followed by the renewal of INVE’s contract with Great Salt Lake Brine Shrimp Cooperative (GSL). This is a key symbiotic relationship and now provides greater visibility on long term Advanced Animal Nutrition revenues. The 10-year agreement allows INVE to continue to distribute artemia sourced by GSL, an activity from which BMK derived revenues of over £30m in FY16.
24 Aug 17
Creating a strong platform for growth
Highlights of H1’17 included the strong performance in Breeding & Genetics, sales up 76% with recovery in sales of salmon eggs to Chile, and growth in sales volumes and prices in other markets and species. BMK also laid down further ground roots for expansion, including formation of collaboration with Salmar ASA, a leading salmon producer, validation of BMK’s expertise through the life cycle of the salmon from broodstock to grow-out, and across its entire range of technologies.
07 Jul 17
A leading edge in aquaculture
Benchmark Holdings (BMK) has reported an overall positive H1’17 trading statement, demonstrating that it is leveraging its expertise across its Breeding and Genetics, Animal Health and Animal Nutrition platforms. Highlights of the H1’17 include formation of a new JV with SalMar ASA, the third largest salmon producer in the world. Meanwhile, softness in the shrimp markets continued, as flagged at the FY’16 results. Looking forward to H2’17, launch of a novel sea lice treatment is anticipated leading to significant revenues. The treatment, a follow up to Salmosan, will be an important addition to the company’s suite of sea lice control products to address this ongoing marine disease challenge.
26 May 17
N+1 Singer - All creatures great and small - An overview of the animal health sector
Animal Health is a vast market with multiple long-term growth characteristics and opportunities. In this report we have outlined valuations, M&A activity and the key growth drivers in two animal health subsectors: companion animal health and livestock health. Although the commercial positioning of the eight companies covered in this report (Animalcare, Anpario, Benchmark Holdings, CVS Group, Dechra, ECO Animal Health, Genus and Pets at Home) differ significantly, all have exposure to positive market trends.
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02 Mar 17
Reaping the ‘Fruits de Mer’
After an acquisitive year, Benchmark Holdings (BMK) has the structure in place to provide access to high growth aquaculture markets across hemispheres with breadth and critical mass to provide synergies across its Nutrition, Health, Genetics platforms. With the INVE integration well underway, BMK returns its focus to organic growth, away from the distinction between ‘trading’ and ‘investing’ activities. This includes the potential of its in-house animal/aquaculture development pipeline with addressable markets of over £780m. With our forecast 35% sales growth to £147m in FY17, and 13% to £165.9m in FY18, BMK is set to benefit from a marked operational gearing over the forecast period; we see a c 180% rise in adjusted EBITDA (defined below) from £9.2m in FY16 to £25.6m in FY19.
10 Feb 17
Investor-backed to support LT growth
Following its July announcement of a 10-yr strategic agreement with the Lerøy Group (with SalmoBreed genetic content, Gx, integrated into Lerøy's own ova production), BMK announced new JVs with Salten Stamfisk for a land & sea production unit in Norway, producing 150m salmon ova p.a. and with an (undisclosed) major salmon producer to provide breeding & Gx services. The acquisition of Ceniacua (of Columbia) adds Shrimp Gx expertise to its Salmon and Tilapia platform.
16 Dec 16
Crossword Cybersecurity *(ISDX:CCS) | Goldplat (GDP.L) | Benchmark Holdings (BMK.L) | FairFX Group (FFX.L) | Arria NLG (NLG.L) | Quantum Pharma (QP.L) | Taptica International (TAP.L) | Hummingbird Resources (HUM.L) | Surgical Innovations Group (SUN.L) | Eurasia Mining (EUA.L)
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31 Aug 16
Audioboom (BOOM.L) | Cloudcall (CALL.L) | Porta Communications (PTCM.L) | S y m p h o n y E n v i r o n m e n t a l Technologies (SYM.L) | Blue Prism Group (PRSM.L) | B e n c h m a r k Holdings (BMK.L) | Bexi mco P harm a (BXP.L) | S t e r l i n g E n e r g y ( S E Y . L ) | AFC Energy (20.75.L) | PHSC (PHSC.L)
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05 Aug 16
Solid progress on strategic milestones
BMK headline figures offer a robust scorecard for the Group and a clear indication of strong growth for the underlying businesses, ex-acquisitions. Despite a number of separate headwinds for Animal Health businesses, EBITDA from Trading activities grew to £9.5m (from £1.2m, H1 2015), demonstrating the initial operational synergies that the recent INVE acquisition should provide in the longer term.
06 Jul 16
Life Sciences Review - Hair of the dog anybody?
Our August edition of the life sciences review ‘The Biotech Feast - after the party comes the hangover’ warned that those at the top of the life sciences tree were showing signs of calling the end of a valuation bubble, and that we had seen something of a hiatus in deal activity particularly in terms of licensing deals. What we could not foresee however was the proximity and ferocity of the impending ‘correction’. Indeed the story of the quarter can be seen in the sector charts, with the life sciences indices significantly underperforming the wider market. Over the last 3 months the FTSE350 Pharma & Biotech Index is down some 9%, although the slump has been more pronounced stateside, perhaps reflective of the punchier valuations we have seen across the pond, and consequently a bigger distance to fall when sentiment moves the other way. Over the same period the S&P Pharmaceuticals Select Index was down an astonishing 27%.
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16 Oct 15
Life Sciences Review - The Biotech Feast - after the party comes the hangover
When is a bubble not a bubble but a fundamental and lasting shift in investor sentiment towards a sector? Despite repeated calls from the biotech bear camp that the end is in sight for the continued optimism enjoyed by the sector we continue to enjoy a burst of IPOs, fundraisings and M&A deals.
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03 Aug 15
Walking the talk
Benchmark have today announced 2 acquisitions in the aquaculture segment which offer considerable synergies across the Group, notably in the fast growing Breeding and Genetics division. At a stroke Benchmark have satisfied their aim of diversifying into fish species other than Salmon.
27 Jul 15
A clear growth path
Benchmark's interim results confirm the limited damage of a Salmosan generic launching in Chile this year. However, this story remains so much more. With the new Breeding & Genetics division (BBG) leading from the front, the opportunities for this broad-based animal health-to-sustainability science Group look set to deliver significant earnings growth.
29 Jun 15
Life Sciences Review - London calling to the faraway biotech: Now a bubble is declared and IPOs hail down
Usually this time of year, the who’s who of the Life Sciences’ world have their eyes firmly on the US with the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Chicago becomes a battleground for over 30,000 doctors and scientists jostling with companies vying and hoping to get their clinical data in front of the right people.
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08 Jun 15
Generic speed bumps, but clear growth path
Trading update highlights Salmosan generic BMK interim results, and FY2015 results, are expected to suffer through the impact of a Salmosan generic on sale in Chile. Pipeline delays add to the potential shortfall in revenues and profits. On the plus side, the new Breeding & Genetics division is performing strongly, even against FX headwinds.
05 May 15
Venture life helps the Chinese Aged, SQS gets on the Italian Job, what next for Next 15
DDDD placing, ABC acquisition, ABDP new contract win, BMK preliminary results, CYAN £1m order, EKF collaboration, EMIS contract award, FPM new exploration licences, FITB joins Jawbone, partners with Cancer Research UK and court case judgement, GFM production update, HAYT £3m secured loan note programme and contract win, LWRF preliminary results, NFC proposed placing and trading update, SQS acquisition, STAF full year results, VLG distribution deal .
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03 Feb 15